Paperback Sale!

??Paperback sale! ??

I have a bunch of paperbacks that I’d like to sell so that I have room for the new Career Soldier Collection and some of the rebranded paperbacks. All the ones pictured below are what I have . . . and I’m listing how many of each.

All are signed–let me know how you want them personalized. Email me at tjkandle@gmail.com with your choice of books, shipping address, how you’d like them inscribed and your PayPal address for invoicing.

The following books are $10 each plus shipping:

WHEN WE WERE US (original cover)–5 copies available
THE PLAN–1 copy available
THE PATH–2 copies available
THE LAST ONE (original cover)–1 copy available
ALWAYS FOR YOU (original cover)–2 copies available
UNQUENCHABLE–1 copy available

The following books are $6 each plus shipping:

STARDUST ON THE SEA–1 copy available
MOONLIGHT ON THE MEADOW–1 copy available
THE FOX’S WAGER–2 copies available
BABY, I’M YOURS–1 copy available

Living a Double Life: How faith and romance coexist

My unusual situation has almost become part of my branding and schtick at author events. I’ll be in the middle of a panel about writing romance, and the question inevitably arises: “Are any of your plot lines based on your own love life?” and the ever-popular “How does your significant other feel about your 46975_452627834144_5854393_nbooks?”

When it’s my turn to answer, I usually play it up, with a deep sigh and an air of sharing a secret. “Well . . . my husband is a priest. So you can probably guess which plot lines are not based on my own life!” As for how he feels about my books . . . that’s a little more complicated.

To be fair, I was a writer long before my husband became a priest. I wasn’t a clergy wife who woke up one day and decided to write romance. I’d been writing for years, and while it’s true that I published my first book (a young adult paranormal romance) the December after my husband graduated from seminary, it had never crossed my mind that our careers could ever be considered incompatible. And for a while, they weren’t. He started out his career as a hospice chaplain, working for corporations who didn’t care what his wife did for a living.

Meanwhile, my first books were quite clean, with almost no language or sexual content. Of course, there were still some Christians who took umbrage with them because The King Quartet was paranormal, featuring witches and psychic phenomenon. From my point of view, though, this story of good versus evil was completely consistent with my beliefs. Christianity has a long tradition of literature that is written in metaphor. Some of the most famous of those books never even mention God by name. While I never intended Tasmyn’s story to be overtly religious, I didn’t see anything in it that should offend Christians.

My next books after The King Quartet were quite different. I’d moved away from young adult lit and into contemporary romance for adults. I was very excited about the story in The Posse, but because it was adult, and because I felt the plot called for it, I included a few love scenes. Oh, let’s not be coy; they were sex scenes, although they were fairly mild. But I found I really enjoyed writing books for adults and then eventually, for new adults, and I didn’t like to close the bedroom door, as they say.

Still, my husband continued to work for hospice at this point, and no one seemed to care about my smutty books, as my kids teased me.

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a new adult romance called The Last One. It would be one of my best-selling books, and it also contained some of my hottest sex scenes to date. That book released in 16423_10151353464799145_1026237428_nSeptember, about two weeks before my husband took his first position in parish ministry. I was a little nervous, but fortunately, I was able to fly under the radar when it came to church. Since we’d been attending the church where my husband was now serving, I wasn’t a new commodity. I was the same lady with purple hair I’d always been.

But then my not-so-secret identity began to crack a little. A few ladies in the church mentioned that they had read some of my books, and after some initial panic (mine!), I realized that the world wasn’t ending. No one stood up in the middle of church and pointed at me in condemnation.

Of course, I don’t necessarily flout my books in certain settings. I’ve had conversations with people who have roundly criticized any books with mystical elements–and sex? No. Just no. When they finish up by asking for a copy of one of my titles, I’m understandably a little reluctant to share. I’ve learned that redirection and stall tactics work every time.

I’m very blessed that my husband supports my work, no matter what. My kids, who are mostly grown, 10678164_10152498592689145_1076123883_odon’t read what I write (because ICK–who wants to read their mom’s sex scenes?), but they’re tolerant. I’ve had a few dear ladies at church whisper to me how much they enjoy my stories. One told me recently, “Father is a lucky man!”

I’m not naive, however, and I realize that there may come a point when we have to explain to someone in the church why I write the books I do. The truth is that although I understand my work will never be classified inspirational fiction, I don’t find it inconsistent with my faith. My love stories are between two consenting adults, who always end up in a committed, loving relationship by the end of the book. The choices they make might be different than those I made for myself and those I’d want for my kids, but they are within our cultural norms. I don’t write violence nor do I glorify irresponsible sex.

All of my books celebrate love, family and the triumph of good over evil. Some of my characters attend church, and it always portrayed in a positive light.

Sometimes I wonder if those who might judge my books harshly have read the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. It’s a love story, a beautiful recounting of a couple coming together, and although it is often described as a metaphor for God’s love for His people, there is no doubt that this is the most sensuous book in the Bible.

So how does it work, being a priest-and-romance-writer couple? Actually, it’s easy. We support each other, and we do whatever we can to help each other. When I’m traveling for work, I often miss Sunday services, but I try to make Wednesday mass. My husband usually can’t make my signings or events, but I know he’s got my back, and when I come home, he makes me dinner and spoils me while I recover.

When it comes down to it, our careers really aren’t that different. They’re both all about celebrating love . . . and could there be anything more beautiful than that?

When Faith Hurts

13669834_10154021269699145_7218251779425379902_n

 

If I had a dime for every time someone told me that he or she had been hurt by the church, I’d be able to treat us all to a lovely dinner.

Christians seem to have an endless capacity for injuring and insulting those we dearly desire to bring into fold. I don’t know why; there is no scriptural precedent for doing it. Take, for example, the time the Pharisees set Jesus up for a fall, by pointing out a woman who had been found in the act of adultery and asking Jesus what should be done to her: should she be stoned, as the Law commanded?

Jesus wrote something in the dust–we have no idea what He wrote, but some scholars wonder if He might have been listing the sins and shortcomings of the men standing around Him, each of them holding a rock. And then Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, all of the men left.

Today, all too often, church members find themselves in the same position as the bystanders that day, over two thousand years ago. Our choice is whether we will be the Pharisees or the Lord. When we encounter people who need compassion and understanding, are our faces and hearts hard, like stone? Or do we offer love, understanding and help?

I don’t like the fact that most people, when made aware of my faith, expect me to be judgmental and quick to condemn. I wish that they saw the cross and thought, “Now there’s a person I can count on if I’m in trouble. There’s someone I can confide in without fear of derision.”

But as the graphic above points out, it’s my job to change that perception. I can’t do it by browbeating anyone into understanding that I’m not out to hurt them. I need to prove it by my life, my words and my actions.

Faith means living in such a way that others see me and see joy, hope and peace. I want to live so that those around me want what I have.

After all, isn’t this the point?

 

Faith might not look like you think it does.

Last week, I launched this new weekly feature of the blog. What does faith on Friday mean?

It means that for many of us, it’s easy to have faith on Sundays, when we’re in church, perhaps, surrounded by people who believe at least a little what we do. It’s probably easy to have faith while we’re singing worship songs or timeless hymns, or praying together, or taking part in Eucharist.

But then we go out into the real world, with people who don’t believe what we do and with people who are actively hostile to our faith. The world is not designed to foster an easy growth of faith; in fact, we know for sure that it can be just the opposite. The cares and worries and challenges can erode us until we’re clinging by the thinnest thread to what seemed so clear on Sunday.

So how do we keep the faith when it seems impossible to find? I don’t have tons of answers. I know talking about what’s hard sometimes helps. Realizing that I’m not alone is always comforting. Reading about how others are coping is encouraging, too. And reaching out to lift up others who might be struggling, too, always ends up helping me as much as it does them, if not more.

Realizing.

Reading.

Reaching.

Hey, I didn’t even plan that. But for those of us who are people of faith, that’s not surprising, because we know that the plans of He who is greater than us are far better than our own.

 

 

It’s Hard to Have Faith on Fridays

{For a long time, I’ve had plans to write a weekly post on faith and what it looks like today. I even set up the category on my site here: Faith on Fridays. I hoped to begin at Advent last year, and then again earlier this year. For a variety of reasons, that didn’t happen. But this morning, I woke up and knew today was the day. 

I am an author, and my site is about that. But I am also a woman of great faith, and not allowing myself to express that in some form is not being true to myself. I don’t force my beliefs on anyone else, and I don’t ask that my readers agree with me. You don’t have to read this weekly post. But I have to write it. I hope you’ll stick with me through it, and perhaps comment and start a dialogue, no matter your background and your own beliefs.}

~~~***~~~

Cross on top of american flag symbolizing memorial day in United States

Last night, I was just about to go to sleep, skimming through social media for one last check before bed. I saw the first posts about a shooting in Dallas. This time, it wasn’t police shooting an unarmed black man; it was police who were being shot during a protest. I stayed up, watching CNN until I couldn’t take it anymore. When I went to sleep, they were saying ten had been shot and two were dead. When I woke up this Friday morning, the numbers had changed; twelve shot, five dead.

It’s hard to have faith on Fridays.

Earlier in the week, I had been sickened and frustrated and angry about the two black men who were shot by police officers–one in Baton Rouge, one in Minnesota. I was horrified. This is America. On Monday we celebrated the anniversary of our freedom, of our proclamation that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. All men. All women. Black, white, and every other color in between or beyond. Regardless of sexual identity, gender affiliation, religion, lack of religion and cultural background. All men are created equal. We have defended that peculiar notion for over two hundred years, we have bled for it and our soldiers have died for it. Yet we do not live it out. Not by a long shot.

It’s hard to have faith on Fridays.

My faith is rooted deep, from seeds planted in my childhood, carefully cultivated by so many men and women and books who helped shape what I believe and in Whom I believe. I follow Jesus, who tells us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I try my best to make my everyday choices reflect that belief. I know that He is still in charge. I know that He is the ultimate victor. I know who wins this war.

But it’s hard to have faith on Fridays.

Several thousand years ago, on a Friday in Jerusalem, a man of peace, a man of love, Son of God, son of man, of His own free will, gave up His life for me and for you (whether you believe it or accept it or not) in a shameful, horrific death on the cross. He’d been the hope of a generation, beloved of His many followers, and within hours, he was dead, laid in a borrowed tomb.

It’s hard to have faith on Fridays.

If that were the end of the story, then what I believe would be futile. If that were the end of the story, then we could look around our nation and our world and have no reason for hope. If that were the end of the story, we should just give up.

But it’s not the end, because on Sunday, that tomb broke open and Jesus rose again, defeating death.

In the face of pain and horror and devastating loss, communities pull together. We support each other. We love despite differences. We embrace strangers. We march for peace. We hold our legislators accountable for making and enforcing laws that will make our nation safer and stronger, a country where ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL and are treated equitably and with dignity.

It’s hard to have faith on Fridays. But we hold on. We believe for a better day and a better way. We walk in His way, offering compassion and grace and love.

This isn’t the end. Love bats last, and there is not a single doubt in my mind about Who wins.

Keep the faith, even on Fridays.

1 2 3 5